Five classic movies for a cozy, rainy fall day


Promotional material courtesy of Jerry Bruckheimer Films.

Coach Boone and team watch nervously as they play their rivals under the stadium’s lights.

As the few non-evergreen trees in California begin to turn their beautiful shades of reds and oranges, a new list of activities only fitting for this season follow. Picking out the perfect pumpkin to make jack-o-lanterns, sipping hot apple cider, and wearing cozy sweaters are all part of the embrace of fall. Along with this season comes the urge to hunker down on the couch with a warm cookie, a snug blanket, and the perfect fall movie. So, here are five films, diverse in genre, that will suit all fall movie cravings.


#5 When Harry Met Sally

In this lighthearted romantic comedy, Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) and Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) meet while driving together from Chicago to New York, both ready to start their new lives. They continue to randomly run into each other over the span of 12 years, each time becoming closer and closer friends. Under the autumn leaves of New York, Harry and Sally watch their friends fall in love and get married, oblivious to their own love for the other. Each fall, leading up to the holidays, they find other dates, hoping to prove to themselves that they can just stay friends. Different from other romantic comedies, When Harry Met Sally shows the realistically long struggle of deciding whether to stay friends, or to possibly become more than just friends. Whether you watch the movie for Harry Burns’ sly jokes, inspiration from Sally Albright’s fall outfits, or just a charming story of a strong friendship, When Harry Met Sally is a perfect movie to pair with a lazy, chilly day.

Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) and Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) discuss their dreams under the shedding trees in New York City. Promotional material courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.


#4 Nightmare Before Christmas

Though this movie has a confusing title, it rings clear into the Halloween season. A skillfully depicted story about Halloween’s jealousy of Christmas, The Nightmare Before Christmas centers around Halloween Town, a dreary, gray town full of skeletons, zombies, and other ghouls. Their purpose is to prepare for one day each year: Halloween. A popular resident, Pumpkin King Jack Skellington (Danny Elfman) wants Halloween to be more popular than Christmas, and decides that the best way to do this is by forcefully taking over Christmas from the beloved Santa Claus. Jack’s journey makes him reevaluate his goals, surprising his Halloween followers, and possibly influencing their values as well. Through Jack’s midlife crisis involving the takeover of Christmas, Jack learns important lessons about trying new things, balance in relationships, and appreciation of life. These themes are also important aspects of the fall season, with Thanksgiving being a time to reflect and be grateful, and Halloween to celebrate the spooky parts of life.


#3 Dead Poets Society

A beautifully written story about a group of teenage boys exploring their restricted life, Dead Poets Society is an ode to the curiosity and dreams of youth. Set in 1959, the movie takes place in the gorgeous autumn of Vermont, and is surrounded by old New England style buildings. Attending an all-boys boarding school, the boys are already adjusted to the methodically planned futures their parents have created for them. Longing to find joy in their strict high school careers, the boys find excitement in the smallest things – making radios, playing tag, pulling pranks, all pastimes, to name a few. Accustomed to the routine of their uptight school, they are shocked when the new English teacher uses “unorthodox” teaching methods. Mr. Keating (Robin Williams) asks them to rip pages out of their books, sing songs, and stand upon desks, all practices foreign to these young men. Inspired by this new way of thinking and individuality, the group of boys attempt to stray from their current life plans in order to live their dreams. Even if their parents don’t agree, this new perspective on life provides them with perseverance and freedom.


#2 It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown 

Good grief! It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is one of the most classic American fall films about the night of Halloween. While Charlie Brown and the crew (including Lucy, Pig Pen, Schroeder, Patty and Violet) go trick or treating and finish with a Halloween party, Linus convinces infatuated Sally to wait in the pumpkin patch with him. Every year, Linus waits for the great pumpkin to rise from the patch and deliver a gift to him. While the children are busy, Snoopy goes on a completely unrelated World War I adventure to the French countryside, exploring the career of a fighter pilot. This film will bring back childhood memories of Halloween while making you excited to pick the perfect pumpkin to make a jack-o-lantern.


#1 Remember The Titans

Nothing says fall to a sports fan quite like football. Based on a true story in Alexandria, Virginia, Remember the Titans covers the integration of a high school football team in the early 1970s. Coach Boone (Denzel Washington) takes over the head coaching position at T.C. Williams High School, making him the first Black coach in their division. At first, the white players are aggressive and disrespectful to the new Black players and coaches but, after some tough love and empathizing with each other, a true team begins to form. Starting the new school year, the football team seems to be the only mixed group of friends at the school, using their sport’s popularity to break down biases and stereotypes held against each other. A beautiful story of integration and brotherhood, Remember the Titans will make you laugh, cry, smile, and dance around your living room. Number one on the list, this movie ties all the emotions, thoughts, and memories of fall – gratitude, appreciation, nostalgia and warmth – into 113 riveting minutes.